John 21:8
And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) And the other disciples came in a little ship.—Better. . . . in the boat. The two words “ship” and “boat” (πλοῖον and πλοιάριον) are interchanged here, as in John 6:17 et seq.

For they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits.—That is, about 100 English yards. The shortness of the distance explains how they were able to drag the net in tow. The Greek preposition used with “cubits” (literally, “two hundred cubits off”) is used of distance only by St. John (John 11:18 and Revelation 14:20).

Dragging the net with fishes.—Comp. Note on John 21:6. The Greek is more exactly,. . . . with the (literally, of the) fishesi.e., those with which the net had been filled (John 21:6).

21:1-14 Christ makes himself known to his people, usually in his ordinances; but sometimes by his Spirit he visits them when employed in their business. It is good for the disciples of Christ to be together in common conversation, and common business. The hour for their entering upon action was not come. They would help to maintain themselves, and not be burdensome to any. Christ's time of making himself known to his people, is when they are most at a loss. He knows the temporal wants of his people, and has promised them not only grace sufficient, but food convenient. Divine Providence extends itself to things most minute, and those are happy who acknowledge God in all their ways. Those who are humble, diligent, and patient, though their labours may be crossed, shall be crowned; they sometimes live to see their affairs take a happy turn, after many struggles. And there is nothing lost by observing Christ's orders; it is casting the net on the right side of the ship. Jesus manifests himself to his people by doing that for them which none else can do, and things which they looked not for. He would take care that those who left all for him, should not want any good thing. And latter favours are to bring to mind former favours, that eaten bread may not be forgotten. He whom Jesus loved was the first that said, It is the Lord. John had cleaved most closely to his Master in his sufferings, and knew him soonest. Peter was the most zealous, and reached Christ the first. How variously God dispenses his gifts, and what difference there may be between some believers and others in the way of their honouring Christ, yet they all may be accepted of him! Others continue in the ship, drag the net, and bring the fish to shore, and such persons ought not to be blamed as worldly; for they, in their places, are as truly serving Christ as the others. The Lord Jesus had provision ready for them. We need not be curious in inquiring whence this came; but we may be comforted at Christ's care for his disciples. Although there were so many, and such great fishes, yet they lost none, nor damaged their net. The net of the gospel has enclosed multitudes, yet it is as strong as ever to bring souls to God.Two hundred cubits - About 350 feet, or a little more than 20 rods. 8. the other disciples came in a little ship—by ship. The other disciples came in a little fishing boat, dragging the net with fishes; probably, because it was too heavy to be lifted up into the boat. And the other disciples came in a little ship,.... The same that they were fishing in, in which they came to Christ as soon as they could, not choosing to expose themselves, as Peter did; nor was it proper that they should leave the ship, and, as it was, might have hands few enough to bring ship and net, so full of fish, safe to shore; and the rather, they did not think fit to do as he did,

for they were not far from land, but, as it were, two hundred cubits; which was about an hundred yards:

dragging the net with fishes: towing the net full of fishes all along in the water, till they came to land; an emblem of laborious Gospel ministers, who being once embarked in the work of the ministry, continue in it to the end, notwithstanding all toil, labour, and difficulties that attend them; and will at last bring the souls with them they have been made useful to, with great satisfaction and joy, to their dear Lord and master.

And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 21:8-9. Τῷ πλοιαρ.] in the little boat, on board of which they remained; local dative. Comp. Herod. v. 99: ἀπικέατο εἴκοσι νηυσί. See generally Becker, Homer. Blätter, p. 208 f.

The γάρ in the parenthesis states the reason why they did not quit the vessel; they could in this way also quickly enough reach the shore, which was very near (200 cubits = ½ stadium 300 feet, see Wurm, de ponder, etc., p. 195; Hermann, Privatalterth. § 46. 7).

On the form τηχῶν instead of the Attic πηχέων, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 245 f. On ἀπό, see on John 11:18.

τὸ δίκτυον τῶν ἰχθ.] the net, which was filled with the fishes (John 21:6). Comp. on this genit., Nägelsbach, z. Ilias, p. 31, ed. 3.

John 21:6. βλέπουσιν, κ.τ.λ.] John relates simply what they saw on landing, namely, a fire of coals lying there, and food lying thereon (i.e. a mess of fish, see on John 7:9; the singul. not of a single fish, as Beza, Hengstenberg, Godet, and others think, but collectively, as also ἄρτον, comp. Polyb. xxxiv. 8. 6 : τὸ θαλάττιον ὄψον), and bread. That this preparation for the breakfast to be given was made by Jesus, would be understood by the reader as matter of course (see John 21:12-13). But how He brought together the materials, and who kindled the fire, cannot be determined; He might, before He called to the disciples, have Himself, or by other hands, made the preparations. Hence the narrative yields no miracle (bringing forth out of nothing, thought Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Grotius, Calovius, Maldonatus, and several others; but Nicephorus, Jansen, Luthardt: the angels had provided Him therewith; finally, Hengstenberg, Godet: without more precise definition of the marvellous How), nor even the appearance of such (Lücke). But wherefore did Jesus make this preparation? Because the disciples were to eat with Him the early meal, with which He designed to connect so significant a transaction as that related in John 21:15 ff.; He willed to be the giver of the meal. Much that is irrelevant in the older expositors. According to Luthardt, the design is to depict how Jesus, without requiring their aid, knows how to feed the disciples from His own resources. But to what purpose any such further representation, since He had long ago miraculously fed thousands before the eyes of the disciples?John 21:8. The rest came in the little boat, οὐ γὰρ ἦσανἰχθύων. Bengel correctly explains the γάρ, “Celeriter hi quoque venire poterant”. They were not far from the land, ἀλλʼ ὡς ἀπὸ πηχῶν διακοσίων, “about one hundred yards”. πηχῶν, says Phrynichus, is δεινῶς ἀνάττικον; we must use the form πηχέων. Observe the unconscious exactness of the eye-witness. For the Hellenistic construction with ἀπό. cf. John 11:18. The others came σύροντεςἰχθύων, “hauling the net of the fishes,” or “netful of the fishes”; genitive of contents, like δέπας οἴνου, a cup of wine. It is needless, with Lücke, to complete the construction with μεστόν, cf. John 21:11.8. in a little ship] Rather, in the boat, whether ‘the ship’ of John 21:3 or a smaller boat attached to it, we cannot determine.

two hundred cubits] About 100 yards.John 21:8. Γὰρ, for) These latter also (as well as Peter) were able to come quickly.—τὸ δίκτυον, the net) which had been left by Peter.Verse 8. - But the other disciples came in the little boat. Either what was first described as τὸ πλοῖον is now more minutely described as πλοιάριον, "the (same) little boat," or else they had transferred themselves from the more cumbrous fishing-smack to the smaller craft which was tethered to the larger one. The reason why the other disciples came in the boat is given in the parenthesis: (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits off); i.e. about three hundred feet, half a stadium, a hundred yards. Ἀπὸ to denote distance from, is used in this Gospel (see note, John 11:18) and the Revelation (Revelation 14:20). The disciples came in the boat over this distance, dragging the net (full) of fishes. The net was not broken, though filled. They did not further attempt to lift it; they hauled it to the shore as it was. Strauss, who tries to show that we have a glorifying myth framed out of an amalgam of the narratives of the first miraculous draught and that of Peter walking on the water, is singularly unfortunate; for there is less of the supernatural in the story than in either of the two narratives to which he refers. A little ship (τῷ πλοιαρίῳ)

The noun is diminutive. Rev., the little boat. It is hardly probable that this refers to a smaller boat accompanying the vessel. Compare the alternation of πλοῖον and πλοιάριον in John 6:17, John 6:19, John 6:21, John 6:22, John 6:24.

Two hundred cubits

A little over a hundred yards.

With fishes (τῶν ἰχθύων)

Or, the net of the fishes. So Wyc, Rev., full of fishes.

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